CM Sarma on January 24, informed that the State’s of Arunachal and Assam have decided to conduct a ground level survey of its border areas as a step towards resolving the border tension amid the states.
Assam, Arunachal holds meeting:
On January 24, CM Sarma held a meeting with CM Pema Khandu in order to discuss the same.
CM Sarma took the matter to its official Twitter handle where it wrote, “Solving boundary issues with neighbours is our priority.” “Discussed with Hon’ble CM of Arunachal Pradesh Sh @PemaKhanduBJP, who came all the way to Guwahati, measures for permanent solution to the long-pending issue,” the tweet added.
About the survey:
Assam and Arunachal Pradesh share a 804.1 km-long border and there are 1,200 points of disputes along it and the two states have decided to conduct ground level surveys on boundary status.
CM Sarma, who has been taking the initiative to resolve Assam’s border disputes with its neighbours since assuming office in May, 2021, while addressing a press conference in Arunachal Pradesh on January 23, said that the differences with Arunachal Pradesh will be solved in “due course of time”.
Assam and border disputes:
Border disputes are not new to the Northeastern states, especially since there have been conflicts over these states’ notional/perceived idea of their boundaries which may be at variance to their actual borders.
Assam and Meghalaya border dispute discussion by CM Sarma and CM Sangma:
Earlier this month, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma held talks with various political parties and organisations, including student bodies, of the state to apprise them about the progress made by the two states to sort out the border issue amicably.
Efforts are underway to finalise some deals soon, preferably before January 21, when Meghalaya celebrates its 50th statehood day. The CMs of both states are also expected to meet Union home minister Amit Shah sometime this week to resolve the issue.
“Our efforts to resolve the Assam-Meghalaya border row have started bearing fruits as 6 of the 12 areas of difference have been identified for resolution in the first phase. During an interaction, (I) briefed representatives of all political parties on the progress made so far,” said Sarma through a Tweet.
Assam and Mizoram Border conflict:
Conflicting territorial claims have persisted for a long time between Assam and Mizoram, which share a 164.6 km inter-state border. Several discussions were held between the two states since 1995, but it failed to yield any results. The Assam government alleged that in breach of the existing agreements and status quo, Mizoram began constructing a road towards Rengti Basti in Assam, destroying the Inner Line Reserve Forest in Lailapur area. Simultaneously, Mizoram also set up a new armed camp next to a CRPF camp, in the vicinity.
On July 12, the Mizoram government sought compensation from Assam for the alleged destruction of crops in Mizoram area. Assam retorted by stating that it just thwarted Mizoram’s attempts to encroach upon forest land in Lailapur. Last month, houses were torched by miscreants in Gollacherra in Hailakandi district of Assam, along the Assam-Mizoram border.
In October, 2021 police claimed that locals from Assam pelted stones, provoking Mizoram residents to retaliate despite prohibitory orders. They destroyed more than two dozen huts along the national highway. In March 2018, there was violence in Hailakandi near the Assam-Mizoram border, when police lathi-charged protesting students.
In the meantime, the Centre has been advocating to resolve the inter-state boundary disputes amidst the Northeastern states. They believe this can be resolved through the cooperation of the state governments, with the Centre working only as a facilitator for the amicable settlement of the dispute.